What songs do you have on repeat? Sometimes a song is just that good. Do you get a song stuck in your head? Sometimes it can be really irritating and you can’t get it out of your head. Other songs just seem to transport you to another place entirely. Maybe it’s nostalgic. Or perhaps it’s just peaceful and calming.
Then there are those songs that set your heart and mind on the greatest story ever told.
These songs are filled with biblical truth, the amazing hope we can have in knowing Jesus, and the love that He has for His people. It seems these songs are getting harder to find, although they are out there. Sovereign Grace Music and City Alight are an example of musicians singing and playing solid, biblical songs which has been such a blessing to the global church. However, many modern worship songs appear more like a performance at a gig, with all of the lights and noise. Is this just a question of style? Am I starting to sound old-fashioned? Well dearie, maybe there’s some wisdom to be gleaned here.
Let’s get the record labels, tickets, merch, lighting, and shows out of the way, and strip it all back. What are we actually singing? Who are we singing to? At one time, congregational singing would cement the truths of God on the minds of worshippers. It would be like the songs that you couldn’t get out of your head. Music helps to commit what we need to remember to memory. Isn’t that what they teach us to help us revise for exams? Set what we need to remember to music. Let it be the same with our songs.
I think the Lord delights when we praise Him through song. He knows our heart and motive already. It’s not a performance. He is deeply interested in our heart. He cares for us and our needs. But maybe we need to remember that He is also everything that we will ever need.
What we sing matters. What is coming out of our heart? Are they songs about us? All that the Lord will do for me and my needs? Or do they cause us to look to Jesus? Do they teach us more of Him and His Word? Do they reveal all that Jesus Christ has already done and is doing and will do in the future? Maybe we are best making a joyful noise from the sincerity of our heart, and leave the lyrics behind if we cannot sing praise of who He is.
Maybe part of the problem is that we spend too long looking at ourselves. Hey reader, I do it too. I spend way too much time thinking about myself. How something will benefit me. How does this or that make me feel. But I don’t want to keep looking at myself. A mirror is just a reflection of the original. God loves the original. He loves me enough to deal gently with my heart, not leaving me to look despairingly at the reflection. More than that, He gives me a greater vision to look upon – Himself.
The song ‘A Better Story’ by Gabalfa BC Music has been on repeat since I heard it a few days ago. It’s a beautiful song where each line carries something of the profound truths of God. I pray that more music like this will be heard across the world. Revival may come as we boldly sing, praise and lift the name of Jesus through biblical truth from His Word.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.Colossians 3:16 (ESV)